Nearly eight out of ten U.S. tax filers will receive a federal tax refund this year. Instead of spending it hastily, take a moment to evaluate your financial situation and decide where those dollars will make the most difference. Here are some ideas for making the most of your tax refund:
Save for emergencies. An emergency fund should be able to cover three to six months’ worth of living expenses in the case of sudden financial hardship like losing your job or needing to replace your car.
Pay off debt. Pay down existing balances by chipping away at the loan with the highest interest rate or by eliminating smaller debt first.
Save for retirement. Open or increase contributions to a taxdeferred savings plan like a 401(k) or an IRA. American Trust can put you in touch with a retirement expert to discuss which options would work best for you.
Put it toward a down payment. The biggest challenge most firsttime home buyers face is coming up with enough money for a down payment. Putting your tax refund toward a down payment is a smart move. When you’re ready to start shopping, see your American Trust mortgage lender to get preapproved. Pre-approval allows you to know exactly what size of monthly payment you can afford.
Invest in your current home. Use your refund to make home improvements that will pay you back in the long run by increasing the value of your home. If you’re planning an extensive remodel, more than your tax refund will cover, see American Trust for a home equity line of credit.
See your American Trust banker for other smart ideas on how to manage your money. They have the banking tools and expertise to help you begin the new year with a financially healthy start.
American Trust has been a community pillar since 1911. We have grown to strengthen the products, services, and financial management we can provide to our clients while retaining the integrity and commitment that can only be found through a community bank.